Britvic and AG Barr investors give green light to £1.5bn deal

THE MERGER of soft-drinks makers Britvic and AG Barr was rubber stamped by shareholders on both sides yesterday.

The deal, which will create one of Europe’s biggest soft drinks firms with a market capitalisation of over £1.5bn, is set to be completed by the end of January.

The vote was passed fairly unanimously, although 39 Britvic shareholders voted against the deal. The Office of Fair Trading must now give the merger the green light before it can be completed.

The combined company will be 63 per cent owned by Britvic, with the Irn-Bru maker owning the remaining 37 per cent, but will be led by AG Barr chief executive Roger White, with Britvic boss Paul Moody stepping down after eight years. Britvic’s finance director John Gibney will take the role of chief financial officer at the new firm.

The companies’ combined revenues are around £1.5bn, and management says the deal will mean savings of around £40m over the next few years as up to 500 jobs are cut from its workforce of around 4,000.

The new company will be called Barr Britvic and will be run through Britvic’s offices in Hemel Hempstead.